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Red Arrow 12 missile at IDEX 2017.jpg
Red Arrow 12 mockup at IDEX 2017
TypeAnti-tank missile
Place of originPeople's Republic of China
Service history
Used bySee Users
Production history
Produced2014 – Present
Mass22 kg (49 lb) (carry weight)
17 kg (37 lb) (missile)
5 kg (11 lb) (IIR/EO targeting sight)[1]
LengthMissile: 0.98 m (3.2 ft)
Launch tube: 1.2 m (3.9 ft)
DiameterMissile: 13.5 cm (5.3 in)
Launch tube: 17 cm (6.7 in)

Effective firing range4,000 m (2.5 mi) (daytime)[1]
2,000 m (1.2 mi) (nighttime)[1]
WarheadTandem shaped charge HEAT
Impact force

EngineSolid fuel rocket
infrared homing, CCD

The Hongjian-12 (Chinese: 红箭-12; pinyin: Hóng Jiàn-12; literally: 'Red Arrow-12') is a third generation, man-portable, fire-and-forget infrared homing anti-tank missile of China. It was unveiled at the Eurosatory 2014 exhibition.[2] Chinese equivalent of the Spike.


The HJ-12 is a modern, third generation anti-tank missile developed by China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO). The HJ-12 is a fire-and-forget system utilizing Lock-On Before Launch (LOBL) and is capable of being fired within buildings and bunkers due to its soft launch system. Once launched, it will home autonomously onto its target, allowing the operator to immediately take cover or reload to engage another target. The warhead uses a tandem shaped charge design with an estimated penetration capability of up to 1,100 mm (43 in) of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) after penetrating explosive reactive armor.[2] When facing non-armored point targets, bunkers and fortifications, the missile can be fitted with either high-explosive or thermal effect warheads. Its fire-and-forget technology will reduce the number of anti-tank operators needed on a battlefield, which lowers probable casualties. When engaging enemy tanks and armored vehicles, the HJ-12 aims to destroy the top of its targets, the more vulnerable point. [3]

The HJ-12 is China's first portable anti-tank missile, increasing the ability of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force to have more modern and mobile infantry forces. It is intended to enable China to match up with anti-tank missile developments made by Western defense companies, like the FGM-148 Javelin and Spike. The missile is also available for export to armies in developing countries that would need to contend with third-generation main battle tanks, but the number of potential buyers is likely small due to its higher cost.[4]

Red Arrow 12 launcher at IDEX 2017


See also[edit]

Red Arrow Development
  • HJ-8 - wire-guided anti-tank missile system
  • HJ-9 - beam-riding anti-tank missile system
  • HJ-10 - fiber-optic wire-guided anti-tank missile system
Comparable systems
Related lists


  1. ^ a b c For Sale: A New Chinese Tank-Killer? – Popsci.com, 10 July 2014
  2. ^ a b "Defense Industry of China unveils Red Arrow 12 HJ-12 man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile". Army Recognition. 9 July 2014. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  3. ^ http://defense-update.com/20141113_china-unveils-man-portable-copy-of-the-israeli-spike-and-us-javelin-missile.html
  4. ^ Anti-tank weapon to bolster PLA capability – Armyrecognition.com, 26 August 2014